Student songwriters perform for full house

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    By Elizabeth Wardle

    Students in BYU”s school of music songwriting class displayed their talent Tuesday at the songwriter showcase to a full house in the Madsen recital hall.

    The showcase was similar to professional events in music center cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Nashville where aspiring artists can demonstrate their work. The only requirement is that the songs must be in a style that is recognized by the music industry.

    It is a popular misconception that students who are successful in this class are creative geniuses but really the class is about refining skills and talents and bringing them to the surface.

    “The first day of class Ron [Simpson, director of the songwriter showcase] asks us to think of three songs that we absolutely love,” said Marcee Monroe, an English major and student in the songwriting class who performed her song “I”m On the Verge.”

    The favorite out of these three became the model for each student who were instructed to look at the style of song and look at the artist to try to imitate them, Monroe said.

    For Monroe, the lyrics to her song came first. Then after asking for help from other students in the class, “I”m On the Verge” was finished, she said.

    As an English major and someone who can barely play the piano, she spent way too much time trying to write an arrangement, Monroe said.

    “I asked if I could sing the song in class to see if anyone wanted to collaborate with me,” Monroe said. “I was really nervous but a couple people volunteered.”

    Stuart Maxfield, one of Monroe”s volunteers who performed Tuesday, thought about majoring in music but is currently an undeclared freshman.

    “For me, when I write songs, part of it is a creative spark and part of it has to do with my situation at the time,” Maxfield said. “Inspiration for his songs usually comes from life experiences and songs result from a combination of that inspiration and then being able to finish something.”

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